Capital’s sealing issue sealed for another year

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Sujay Mehdudia

Permanent solution to sealing issue by next year

Bill seeks to maintain the status quo on illegal colonies

NEW DELHI: Union Urban Development Minister Jaipal Reddy on Wednesday indicated that new laws and policies would be framed by next year to find a permanent and lasting solution to the problem of sealing and demolitions in Delhi.

Addressing a press conference here, Mr. Reddy said the Lok Sabha passed the National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second Bill during the day that seeks to extend till December 31, 2010, the special provisions made in view of sealing of commercial premises in unauthorised colonies.

“The passage of the Bill will provide relief to the people of Delhi for one more year beginning January 1, 2010. By that time we will make some policies and laws to find a permanent solution to the problem,” Mr. Reddy said.

The previous Bill was enacted in March 2009 and provided protection to encroachment or unauthorised development in various categories till December 2009.

Mr. Reddy said he was grateful to the Opposition parties for agreeing to pass the Bill to provide relief to the city.

The Bill seeks to maintain the status quo in the Capital’s unauthorised colonies, including village abadis (settlements) and their extensions, urban villages, slum clusters, storages, warehouses and godowns, schools, farm houses and some other categories.

Welcoming the passage of the Bill, West Delhi MP Mahabal Mishra said the move by the UPA Government would certainly give a sense of relief to the lakhs of people living in unauthorised colonies and other clusters in the Capital who were suddenly faced with the threat of demolitions. “I am hopeful that a permanent solution to this problem would be found very soon by enactment of new laws. It is high time that the uncertainty should end in this regard,” Mr. Mishra remarked.

According to the statement of objectives and reasons for the Bill, some more time is required to finalise norms, policy guidelines and feasible strategies to deal with the problem of unauthorised development in the form of encroachment by slum-dwellers and jhuggi-jhonpri clusters. Finalising norms for various categories of properties like schools, dispensaries, religious and cultural institutions, warehouses and godowns for farm produce in rural areas would also take some more time, it said

Similarly, it said, the guidelines and regulations for regularisation of unauthorised colonies had been issued and the Delhi Government had initiated further action in this regard but more time is needed for orderly implementation.

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